Forest bioenergy burning plan not just about "waste"

I am the last person who would want to give Eden chipmill General Manager, Peter Mitchell advice on how to expand his business.

However, Mr Mitchell’s (BDN 26/7/13) claim that conservationist fears about the impacts of the proposed change to NSW Regulations on burning native forest wood for electricity generation are a “conspiracy theory” and a “furphy” is wrong.

Mr Mitchell has given some reasons (ie; cost) why his company would not be interested in collecting debris from the forest floor after logging, but he knows and I know that the new draft regulation does not stop there.

The draft regulation published by the Environment Protection Authority would allow energy generation to augment or even replace the woodchipping industry. It would enable 95% of the wood felled in the Eden Region, including whole trees to be burned.

The executive director of the NSW Forest Products Association, Russ Ainley has let the cat out of the bag by saying that “the change just fixes an anomaly and [provides] an alternative market for woodchip exports.”  (page 7)

You may not believe me, Mr Mitchell, but you perhaps you will believe Russ Ainley.


Harriett Swift